December 11, 2023

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US targets Iran missile, UAV programs in new sanctions

The U.S. targeted Iran’s missile and unmanned aerial vehicle programs in new sanctions Wednesday.

“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 11 individuals, eight entities, and one vessel based in Iran, Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Venezuela that are enabling Iran’s destabilizing ballistic missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs,” a Treasury Department press release stated.

“The persons designated today have materially supported Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), or their subordinates in the production and proliferation of missiles and UAVs,” the release continued.

The release also stated that OFAC is “taking this action jointly with the Department of State, which is designating eight individuals and entities related to Iran’s missile, conventional arms, and UAV activities.”



The sanctions come amid rising tensions in the Middle East as the conflict between Israel and Hamas rages on more than a week after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel. Conflict in the Middle East continued to rise the day following the Hamas attack, when Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, exchanged fire with Israel.

President Biden visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday. The trip followed an explosion at a Gaza hospital that reportedly left more than 500 dead. Hamas and Israel dispute the origin of the explosion, with Hamas blaming an Israeli strike and Israel’s military saying it was the result of a “failed rocket launch” by the Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group affiliated with Hamas.

Upon his arrival in Israel, Biden told Netanyahu that the explosion was not caused by Israel but “appeared” to be the responsibility of “the other team.”

“The point is, is that I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you, but there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot — we’ve got to overcome a lot of things,” Biden said.

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